Turnwald GH, Sponenberg DP, Meldrum JB. Part II: directions and objectives of curriculum structure at veterinary medical and other health professions schools. J Vet Med Educ. 2008 Spring;35(1):74-90

PMID: 18339962


This article surveys reports on various models and methods of curriculum structure and directions of health professions schools in North America over the past 20 years, with particular emphasis on veterinary and allopathic medical schools. The importance of administrative and faculty leadership, a clear sense of vision, recognition that curricula must change to meet societal needs, and continual, extensive communication and collaboration are discussed as important keys to successfully navigating curriculum reform. The advantages of central versus departmental management of the curriculum are noted with respect to implementing curricular change. Investment in faculty development is essential to ensure sustained cultural and curricular change. As instructional methodology changes, new and better methods of assessing student performance must be developed, with timely and appropriate feedback. Barriers to curriculum change are inevitable; effective strategies must be designed and implemented to navigate these barriers. The future of education in the health professions is clearly in the hands of the educators who prepare future health professionals.